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unexpected gift

A post written while in Alaska...suprise, shock, and amazement, I know. :)
Isn't it just awesome when God gives you something so cool and so totally out of the blue that you couldn't have planned anything better even if you had tried?  He has given me an opportunity to meet a group of Texans that have been a lot of fun (laugh until it hurts kind of fun), very encouraging, and just an overall blessing to me.  This week has had its ups and downs...for every awesome thing God is doing, satan wants to try and steal some of the thunder by distraction, frustration, or even separation.  Divide and conquer is a strategy that takes effort to run and/or stay away from.  I am praising my Jesus for providing me with His strength to endure the low points and thoroughly enjoy the high ones.
One conversation. One simple thing led to a most wonderful blessing.
It goes back to Sunday night/Monday morning.  I had just moved into Calvary around 6:30.  People were arriving and getting settled in that day, just as I was.  At a God designed moment, Vicky and I would meet in the dining hall.  We strike up a conversation over a computer issue, which would lead to another conversation, which would lead me to ride in the van with her and her group on the way to Native New Life on Monday evening.  That all led me to more conversations, us becoming friends, serving in the park together, a walk around the block with a get the picture.God is so good at what He does.  He brings people into our lives at just the perfect moment.  Sometimes for one to help the other, other times as a blessing to each person with needs that can be filled by the other.  Other times, I do believe, just because of the joy it will bring for everyone.
My Bear Creek friends are, in a word, awesome!  I saw how God used them to minister to the kids in Kanchee unlike any other team I've seen there before.  Not everything went according to plan, and, I know the first day was a bit overwhelming, but God helped them regroup and carry out His plan for those who came everyday to the park.  From the oldest to the youngest on that team, you could find them in conversations with the kids all over the place.  Whether play time or Bible time, they were the hands and feet of Jesus in Kanchee Park.  I enjoyed seeing them being used by God to minister to kids of all ages.In the evenings, we spent some time together moose hunting and going to the "beach".  Oh, my, did we ever laugh when we were together!  If we hadn't seen a moose on our trip to Kincaid Park, I was in jeopardy of losing my spot in the van. :)  No one was happier to see that moose than I was.  In fact, I spotted it and was so excited I couldn't say the word, "Moose!".  All I could do was point out the window and stammer. 
Yesterday (Friday) morning I was blessed with company in the kitchen while the girls were making cupcakes to take into the community later that day.  That evening at the park party, it was my privilege to get to share in their prayer time at the close of the evening in that park, for the people in that community, and share in their joys of the week and the sorrows of having to say goodbye.  Lives were changed this week.  Eyes were opened.  Hearts broken.  All for His glory.
This morning it was hard to see everyone load up in the vans and take off for Portage while I remained behind.  They asked who they could talk to and beg for me to get to come along with them.  We were a team...them and me.  What a gift to have during a week when I so longed to be out among the people, but dutifully stood by my tasks.  It has been such a long day.  I know what they were seeing for the first time.  I know the excitement of it all.  I longed to be sharing their firsts with them.  No one was happier to see them return than I was...even if it was only for a couple of hours before they were leaving and heading to the airport.
I heard the stories and saw some photos.  I saw the exhaustion on their faces.  It had been a good day.  Tears came to my eyes, though, as I was given a hug by one of my newest, closest friends and told, "It would have been so much better with you along."  Sweet, sweet words. 
As I helped them gather up their luggage and tote it out to the vans for departure, they surprised me with a gift they all chipped in on at one of the stops along the way.  It was a photo album, "Alaska Memories"...given with only one request.  The picture of all of us together had to go on the front cover.  With more tears, I promised to honor that request.
Hugs and much love to all my friends at Bear Creek Church in Texas...Vicky, Scotty & Brooke, Ronald & Denae, Jeff & Stacey, Hannah & Savannah!  I hope to make it to Texas soon!  I'll be looking for my name on the church roster of honorary members.  May God bless you all for the unexpected gift of your friendship!     


  1. It is precious how the family of Jesus truly is a family. You meet brothers and sisters all over you never knew you had! Loved this post Janet, thanks. ;)


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